Not “If,” But “When”

In cycling there are several truisms we’d rather not hear about. The same answer fits each of these scenarios:

  • Learning to ride clips
  • Running into another rider
  • Dropping a water bottle
  • Falling off the pace
  • Falling off the bike at speed.

The answer in all cases: “Not ‘if,’ but ‘when.’”

We’ve all done the “clips fall:” unclip right and fall left!

If you are following too close at speed or someone turns into you, it is inevitable to have a collision with another cyclist.

If you drop a water bottle, just let it go–they are cheap and not worth being run over for.

Falling off the pace is the story of my life–why I am a solo rider these days.

It was the last one on the list above that finally caught up to me. I was at about mile 50 in a 63-mile ride when it happened. Doing about 15 mph I came around a corner and hit a rumble strip at an odd angle. Down I went. On my left side. Didn’t lose consciousness but the helmet did its job.

Stitches above my left eye. Bruises on my hip and shoulder. Hairline fracture of my collarbone. And a skinned up nose and left hand.

Badges of honor.

And healing that means 7 weeks off the bike. That’s really the hardest part. But that is something that has been a strange gift of sorts.  More on that in another post.

Otherwise, back to this idea that it is inevitable that we will fall off the bike. As we build skill, it should happen less often.  However, as it was in my case, accidents do happen.  Even to the most skilled rider (I’m a medium-skilled rider at best). Caution and attentiveness wouldn’t hurt any of us.  However, as I said, accidents do happen. Just remember to bounce back, heal and recover.  Life is too short to give up.

As I told my sons, I will not be dying while in a recliner watching “FOX News.” If it comes to that, euthanize me.


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